Inside Jake Arsenault’s recently refurbished studio in Enfield, N.S., are many tools of the family trade.
“These chisels are from my grandfather,” said Arsenault, pointing to a large tool collection hanging from the wall.
Arsenault comes from five generations of woodworkers and learned the craft from his father.
“We actually have a dining table in our house that my great, great grandfather did the wood carving on, which is pretty cool.”
The idea for his business, Creative Urban Timber, came from an accidental university assignment that earned top marks.
“The point of the class was to start a business and make at least one sale. I decided to make a cutting board which I was able to sell.”
Arsenault said he knew he was on to something when he ended up making more than $1,400 in sales that semester.
Now a full-time custom furniture maker, he creates everything from one-of-kind, live-edge tables, to headboards, benches and sliding barn doors.
Arsenault says he sources most of the wood for his pieces locally.
“I’d say 90 per cent of the wood that we use, unless it’s a special request, actually comes from Nova Scotia.”
Orders come in from all across Canada. While the material remains the same, trends in home decor are always evolving.
“I can imagine if I’m still doing this in 20 years, I’ll be making totally different-looking stuff than I make right now.”
Sometimes a forgotten piece of wood — re-imagined — can forage new and lasting memories.
“A few months ago, a client sent me a picture of the table she had with her kids sitting around it. It just warms my heart to see that.”
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